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Late goal from Morris leads No. 4 Duke field hockey to sixth straight win

<p>Junior Heather Morris scored the lone goal of the day for Duke in the 84th minute to lead the No. 4 Blue Devils to a 1-0 win against No. 17 Boston University Sunday.</p>

Junior Heather Morris scored the lone goal of the day for Duke in the 84th minute to lead the No. 4 Blue Devils to a 1-0 win against No. 17 Boston University Sunday.

Facing the threat of being shut out for the first time since falling at home to North Carolina in October of last year, Duke finally broke the stalemate with Boston University Sunday after 83 scoreless minutes.

Junior Heather Morris clinched the Blue Devils’ sixth straight win in the final two minutes of the overtime period, lifting No. 4 Duke to a 1-0 victory against the No. 17 Terriers at the New Balance Field in Boston.

Proving to be a key asset again for the Blue Devil offense, Morris scored the lone goal of the game in the 84th minute as she tipped the ball over the outstretched arm of Boston University goalkeeper Cammy Jensen off an assist from senior Amanda Kim. The goal was the Pottstown, Pa., native’s team-leading eighth of the season.

The Terriers (9-4) kept Duke (10-3) pushed back into its defensive zone for most of the first half but could not find an opportunity to take a shot on the goal in the first 20 minutes of the contest.

The Blue Devils found little relief from the efforts of seniors Hannah Barreca and Aileen Johnson as they tried to rattle the Terrier defense by firing long shots from midfield. Duke could not keep control of the ball in Boston University territory.

In the first half the Blue Devils also struggled with turnovers in their own territory, giving Terrier Taylor Blood two chances in short order to put her team up on the scoreboard. 

Blood fired the first shot of the game in the 24th minute but was cut off by goalkeeper Lauren Blazing. Duke was unable to clear the ball past midfield before Blood got her stick on it and took another shot.

Ashley Kristen and Alyssa Chillano provided the Blue Devils' only two shots on goal in the opening period in the 29th and 31st minutes.

Possession favored Duke through the second half and overtime period, but they were unable to capitalize on opportunities in front of the goal. Morris, Christy Palazzese and Hunter Bracale each took an unsuccessful shot within two minutes of each other and the Blue Devils could not produce a goal less than thirty seconds later on a penalty corner in the 59th minute. Duke came up short again on another penalty corner in the seventh minute of extra time.

With Sunday’s win, the Blue Devils earned their 10th consecutive win against the Terriers and their sixth straight win this season. Duke opened last season on a similar streak but has not won more than six games in a row since the 2008 season, when the Blue Devils won eight consecutive games before losing to Virginia to close out the regular season.

Duke has a chance to match that success this season but will have to go through another pair of ranked opponents next weekend. The Blue Devils will face No. 3 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, N.C., Friday at 6 p.m. then head to Harrisburg, Va., to take on No. 18 James Madison Sunday at 1 p.m.

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